Background: Breast cancer is one of the leading cancers in women in the Western world. Cancer
treatment, especially chemotherapy, is often associated with physical and psychosocial side effects.
Objective: To improve the quality of life and manage side effects, a new integrative mind-body-medicine group
concept for breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy was developed and pilot tested.
Methods: Breast cancer patients participated in a 66 hours mind-body-medicine group program tailored to the
needs of cancer patients during chemotherapy. The program was integrated into standard care encompassing
mindfulness training, yoga, moderate exercise, nutrition, complementary self-help strategies, cognitive restructuring,
and acupuncture. Quality of life (EORTC QLQ-C30), depression and anxiety (HADS), stress (PSS-10),
and fatigue (BFI) were assessed before and after the program, as well as satisfaction and safety. Analyses were
carried out on exploratory basis with paired samples t-tests.
Results: Fifty-seven female patients, aged 51.3±10.5 years, with breast cancer diagnoses were enrolled. After
completing the program, global EORTC quality of life was improved (D=9.5; 95%-CI=[2.9|16.1]; p=.005), although
the EORTC-symptom scales assessing fatigue (D=9.9; 95%-CI=[1|18.8]; p=.030), nausea (D=7.1; 95%-
CI=[0.6|13.6]; p=.031), and dyspnea (D=12.5; 95%-CI=[2.9|22.1]; p=.011) were found to be increased. Stress
(D=-3.5; 95%-CI=[-5|-2.1]; p=.000), anxiety (D=-3.8; 95%-CI=[-4.9|-2.7]; p=.000) and depression (D=-3.9;
95%-CI=[-4.9|-2.8]; p=.000) were also found to be significantly reduced. Regarding the severity of (D=0.2;
95%- CI=[-0.8|0.5]; p=.644) and the impairment due to fatigue (D=0.1; 95%-CI=[-0.8|0.6]; p=.696), no significant
worsening was observed. Patients were satisfied with the program. No serious adverse events were reported.
Conclusion: Breast cancer patients benefit from an integrative mind-body-medicine group program during chemotherapy
regarding the quality of life and psychological symptoms. Randomized controlled trials are warranted.